Falling Water landscape drawings

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Tom
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Location: Black Mountain, NC

Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

Yep - never knew any of this.
From the Avery file I assumed this was an initial plan.
The idea that Wright was going to add this on is kind of astonishing to me.
It would have been an amazing room - no doubt.
The Avery files do not have the second level plan - that makes the balcony understandable.
And I don't think I would have associated the section drawing with the room unless seeing this so -
Thanks for posting.
Last edited by Tom on Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Yes---this project will be news to many, I expect; I never encountered it until acquiring Cleary's book---and it didn't leap out at me then, for a while . . .

I doubt that it would have been Wright's choice---but then again he rearranged completely the approach to Taliesin at one point, and it has been remarked upon that he was never against adding to a previous work. Designing---and redesigning---is always fun !

S

g.dorn
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by g.dorn »

Avery also have EJ Kaufman archives, which includes letters, photos , engineers reports and drawings of the Bear Run house. I wonder if these are a more complete set of drawings-compared to the FLW foundation archives
see

https://findingaids.library.columbia.ed ... ubseries_3

its a very interesting read - just reading what materials they have!
G Dorn
Perth Western Australia
www.dornworks.com
think, design, build

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

I hope you are right about that. I'll ask if that is available as well.
One can learn a lot from the Avery file but you could not build the house from their record.

The east parapet beam of the second level terrace is interesting and not as straight forward as the west beam.
First, it's about 6-ft shorter terminating without counter weight from above at the wall that separates Mrs Kauffmans bathroom from the guest bedroom and the continuation of the southern face of the east terrace above the plunge pool.
The beam also carries more weight as it supports the entire length of the eastern trellis.
The structural mystery seems to be solved at the bottom of the beam. There is more steel here (4-1" square bars) extending from the waterfall northward maybe as far back as to be aligned with the mid-point of the central square itself (at least that is what the Section G-G seems to show).
The line of the east parapet beam is in-line with the east side of the central square over the living room.
Which seems to indicate that the upward rotation of the fixed end of that beam is resisted somehow in the eastern side
of the central square of the living room ceiling - a mesh mat ring of steel reinforcing.
Stuff like this would just drive guys like Phillip Johnson crazy.
I can hear him now: "No Fair!" or "You can't do that!"

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

It's that kind of stuff that is just not taught in school.

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

"I wonder if these are a more complete set of drawings-compared to the FLW foundation archives"

What the Avery has is the FLW foundation archives.

S

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

What GDorn is talking about however is a separate file belonging originally to the Kauffman family
and not originating from the archives at TWest.
It's another "cache" of information.
I'm going to ask them if it's also available.

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Ah. This made me wonder where the drawings in the 1999 exhibition "Merchant Prince and Master Builder" came from. All except three were loaned by the Foundation; two presentation drawings of the Rhododendron Chapel project(Mill Run, 1952) are owned by John H Howe Collection, The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, while a colored view drawing of the Point Park Civic Center project (Pittsburgh, 1947) is in the collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art.

S

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

Here is a partial list of Kaufmann-project drawings in the Archive, as compiled for Richard Cleary's 1999 book and limited here to drawings of the house and its guest quarters. These are the first nine pages of a 20-page addendum to the book.

It should be obvious that any researcher into Wright's work for the Kaufmanns will want to acquire a copy of this volume.


Image
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"Merchant Prince and Master Builder," Richard L Cleary, © 1999 Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh

Roderick Grant
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Roderick Grant »

It is a good thing that the dining room was not built. It would have violated the entire composition and scale.
What would diners have gazed at through the wall of glass dead-ending the driveway?
This seems to me one of those not so uncommon instances when FLW followed through on a design, knowing all the while that the client would not follow through on construction, such as was the case with Ayn Rand or the Illinois.

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

The only two times I've visited Fallingwater there was a huge black steel truss underneath the main level balcony.
Each end, the west and east drooped considerably and obviously turning the entire thing into one big frown.
I was all shook up, totally unprepared for that by any photograph I'd ever seen.
Since the restoration, I've heard that this droop was left intact, for historical purposes.
If so I think it was a mistake. I think they should have corrected the entire thing.

But my point is this.
The northwest terrace(boulder terrace) and the east terrace over the plunge pool are structured differently than the west and east terraces that extend off the main level.
It strikes me that if the main level exposed terraces had been structured in similar fashion to the boulder terrace and the east terrace over the plunge pool that maybe those ends would not droop so much.

I was surprised to see from the reinforcing drawing on page of 5 of this thread that the reinforcing steel of the cantilivered joists of the main level west and east terraces are not continuous across the main major cantilvered beams.
I'll check again now as I write this but the structural diagram does not match the visual continuity. Structurally they appear to be tacked on.

JimM
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by JimM »

Tom wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:52 pm
I think they should have corrected the entire thing.
Silman believed post-tensioning back to"level" would have been disastrous with wood, glass and concrete cracking unpredictably. They did eliminate 3/4" of the deflection. From the start the house was never level and immediately dropped 1-3/4" after the forms were removed. Continuous settling occurred over time to 7" at one corner and 5-1/2" at the other. Silman's exhaustive study and calculations determined things were doomed from the start, primarily due to both negative reinforcement not being considered and after even extra steel added during construction (without Wright's knowledge) was insufficient. Interestingly, he did find the steel "T" window frames helping support the upper terrace calculated correctly, and although close to their limit were still functioning adequately.

This link is to a fascinating transcript of a very detailed presentation Silman made a few years before he died:
https://www.ncptt.nps.gov/blog/robert-s ... ican-icon/

Tom
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Tom »

Thank you - very helpful
I'll be sure to take a look.

Roderick Grant
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by Roderick Grant »

The decision to leave the "frown" was based on sad, but unavoidable, engineering reality. The reason given that it was part of the history of the house is what I find faulty. If FW could have been restored to a perfect image of what FLW had intended, before all the other hands started messing with the stew, that should have been done, history be damned. It is that reasoning that will prevent Ennis from ever being an accurate representation of FLW's genius. Mabel messed so much with that design that it hardly looks like FLW at all. A restoration to the exact plan (mostly fenestration and roof structure) would yield a dramatically different result. It could be done, but won't be.

The same faulty reasoning has been used repeatedly and to disastrous misrepresentation at Hollyhock. A structural problem in the Sugar Top porch was solved by allowing I-beams to remain visible, probably because doing the correct thing might have cost too much. As long as that porch is less than perfect, Hollyhock cannot be considered restored. Same goes for the gallery/pergola and that dreadful hanging rag in the dining room.

SDR
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Re: Falling Water landscape drawings

Post by SDR »

"Interestingly, he did find the steel "T" window frames helping support the upper terrace calculated correctly, and although close to their limit were still functioning adequately."

Other examples of slender steel (or iron) vertical supports---often decorated---occur both close at hand (the posts supporting the stair canopy behind Fallingwater) and further afield: At the Walker house (living room roof, cast iron), at Wingspread (exterior trellis), at Hanna (ditto). Others ?

S

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